Tony Bennett diagnosed with Alzheimer's: Singer 'met' 40 years younger wife Susan even before she was born

The 94-year-old met Susan’s parents in 1966 when her mother Marion Crow was pregnant with her

Tony Bennett diagnosed with Alzheimer's: Singer 'met' 40 years younger wife Susan even before she was born
Tony Bennett and wife Susan Crow attend the 2015 National Arts Awards on October 19, 2015 in New York City (Getty Images)
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Music legend Tony Bennett has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, his wife revealed in a new profile for AARP Magazine. The legendary singer was reportedly diagnosed with the disease in 2016, but began showing discernible signs in 2018 while recording a new album with Lady Gaga. “There’s a lot about him that I miss. Because he’s not the old Tony anymore … But when he sings, he’s the old Tony,” Bennett’s wife Susan told the magazine, which stated, “Bennett has so far been spared the disorientation that can prompt patients to wander from home, as well as the episodes of terror, rage or depression that can accompany Alzheimer's frightening detachment from reality.”

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Singer Tony Bennett (R) and wife Susan Crow attend a reception at the White House for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

The ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco’ singer also took to Twitter to thank AARP Magazine for sharing his battle with the disease. He wrote, “Life is a gift - even with Alzheimer’s. Thank you to Susan and my family for their support, and @AARP The Magazine for telling my story. Read more here: http://aarp.org/entertainment/celebrities/info-2021/tony-bennett-alzheimers.html…” After his tweet, several people expressed their love for the singer and what his songs meant to them. One user tweeted, “Mr. Bennett. My parents first date was Salisbury Breach Massachusetts at your concert. A table in the front. My mom said it was like you were singing to her. It was one of her most cherished memories. May all the good come back to you in these times. All my love to you Pisan.” The second user said, “We love you so incredibly much. by the way, who ever is running this account right now. i hope you know that no matter what decision you choose, if that’s to release the album or not. we’re grateful to know that Tony’s possible last record was made with someone who he loves.” “Yours is the voice of my whole life. My dad had your albums (my favorite is The Movie Song Album) and also a beautiful tenor voice. And you came to Jacksonville, Oregon to sing at our Britt Festival! What a thrill. We love you, Tony,” the third user added.

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The AARP piece also quoted Gayatri Devi, M.D., a neurologist who diagnosed Bennett in 2016, regarding the 94-year-old’s health. The doctor said, “He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder." Devi also revealed how caring Bennett’s wife Susan, who is around forty years younger to him, is. “I’ve been humbled by the level of devotion. She also expects a lot from him. I think her background as a teacher helps, but she’s also very much in love with him. And he rises to her expectations,” she added. 

Susan told the magazine that she wishes for a peaceful death for her husband, just like actor Sean Connery’s. “I'm hoping for that with Tony. Hopefully he'll just go to sleep one night and that will be that. I'm hoping and praying that he won't take a turn for the worse that's really crazy bad,” she added.

So how did Tony and Susan meet?

Unlike most love stories, Tony and Susan’s is quite different. The ‘Steppin' Out With My Baby’ singer met his third wife even before she was born. In his 2016 book -- ‘Just Getting Started’ -- Tony said he first 'met' his love when she was visiting with her parents, Marion and Dayl Crow, a San Francisco gig in 1966. At the time, Marion was pregnant with Susan. “As fate would have it, [Susan’s mother, Marion] was pregnant at the time with … Susan! It’s a photo we all laugh about, knowing the incredible turn of events that followed,” ‘The Shadow Of Your Smile’ singer wrote. Tony also mentioned in his book how Susan grew up listening to his songs and became such a fan that she ended up being the president of his fan club in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she was 19, she finally got the chance to meet Tony after asking to see him backstage following one of his shows. Tony added, “I not only agreed to say hello to her backstage but asked her to be my date for the evening, and that’s how it all really began, foreshadowed by a backstage photo taken in 1966!” The pair dated for nearly two decades, before exchanging vows in 2007.

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Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Crow arrive at the formal Artist's Dinner honoring the recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors hosted by United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry at the U.S. Department of State on December 7, 2013 in Washington, D.C (Getty Images)

Together, the couple worked towards their common goal, which was launching art and music programs in as many schools as possible. They opened at least twenty schools throughout Los Angeles and New York City, which included Exploring the Arts program that helps young people pursue art. Tony and Susan were also honored with the George Washington University President’s Medal for their work. In September 2020, Tony posted a picture of him with Susan and wrote, “Today my wonderful wife Susan celebrates her birthday! She makes my life better in every way, and I owe so much to her. Susan inspired the lyrics I wrote for "All For You," and I once again dedicate this song to her today. #linkinbio.”

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